Film and TV star Fiona Geddes, has sent us a short testimony about her experience in working with The Forge Initiative programme leader, Brian Astbury. In her own words, "Brian made me realise that I had the power to take charge of my own career by making my own work, and he provided me with the skills, confidence and tools to do so".
Scottish writer and actress Fiona Geddes, has sent us a testimony about her experience in working with The Forge Initiative programme leader, Brian Astbury. In her own words:
"Brian has inspired, supported and encouraged so many theatre makers from Rufus Norris to, the slightly less impressive, me. And thank God for Brian!
As a struggling actress in a saturated industry, I was valiantly swimming up stream; dutifully writing letters to directors I dreamed of working with, praying for my agent to call with an audition, and regularly attending workshops to continue developing my craft. Because… well… because that’s what they tell you to do when you leave drama school, and whilst this is good advice, there comes a time when a little voice begins to whisper in your ear that says ‘stop waiting around, just do it. Make your own work.’ For me, that gentle, yet incredibly persistent voice was Brian’s.
Brian made me realise that I had the power to take charge of my own career by making my own work, and he provided me with the skills, confidence and tools to do so.
Having always wanted to perform at the Edinburgh Festival I wrote and produced a one-woman show "Normal/Madness" and off I went. It was a purely selfish act, I wanted to perform, and this was how I was going to make that happen. However this is when I learnt the second lesson of Mr Astbury - theatre can change lives.
The reaction to the show was incredible, we’d reached out to audiences and they reached right back. Sharing my experience of mental illness within my family encouraged others to share their stories, provided them with a voice, and that was the amazing pay off.
The play went on to tour Scotland the following year and my theatre company, Kidder Productions, was born. We are currently adapting "Normal/Madness" for the screen and are about to start development on our next play. But none of this would have been possible without Brian, what he has taught me is invaluable. Not only did he equip me with the tools to begin building a career in theatre, he gave me back my artistic integrity."
Thank you Fiona! We wish you all the best in your future career.